Nonpharmacologic Measures and Drug Compliance in Patients with Heart Failure: Data from the EuroHeart Failure Survey
Advice on lifestyle, diet, vaccination, and therapy are part of the standard management of heart failure (HF). However, there is little information on whether patients with HF recall receiving such recommendations and, if so, whether they report following them. We obtained information on the recall of and adherence to nonpharmacologic advice from patients enrolled in the EuroHeart Failure Survey. This article focuses on 2,331 patients who had a clinical diagnosis of HF during the index admission and attended an interview 12 weeks after discharge. Their mean age was 67 ± 12 years and 38% were women. Patients recalled receiving 4.1 ± 2.7 items of advice with higher rates in Central Europe and the Mediterranean region. Recall of dietary advice (cholesterol or fat intake, 63%; dietary salt, 60%) was higher than for some other interventions (influenza vaccination, 36%; avoidance of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, 17%). Among those who recalled the advice, a substantial proportion indicated that they did not follow advice completely (cholesterol and fat intake, 61%; dietary salt, 63%; influenza vaccination, 75%; avoidance of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, 80%), although few patients indicated they ignored the advice completely. Patients who recalled >4 items versus ≤4 items of advice were younger and more often received angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (71% vs 62%), β-blockers (51% vs 38%), and spironolactone (25% vs 21%). In conclusion, after hospitalization for HF, many patients do not recall nonpharmacologic advice. In addition, a substantial proportion of those who recall the advice follow it incompletely. Younger age and prescription of appropriate pharmacologic treatment are associated with higher rates of recall and implementation.